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Taste New Orleans: S.F.’s Finest Mardi Gras Grub

Fat Tuesday is a celebration of excess: food, drink, music, dance and costumes. The climax of Carnival season encourages people to live it up before they have turn their focus back to everyday life. Can’t get to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Try these Bay Area spots for Crescent City-style cuisine and entertainment. This year, Mardi Gras is on March 8.

Just for You: Dive into your meal in this Dogpatch cafe. Just for You offers beignets for breakfast, plus eggs with Louisiana hot sausage or a Creole crab cake. Don’t forget to secure a side of grits. For lunch, get a yummy po-boy (with roast beef, shrimp, oyster, hot link or crab cake) and wash it down with an Abita root beer.
732 22nd St.; 415-647-3033

Cajun Pacific: You know it’s real New Orleans cooking when the chef has cooked in New Orleans. At Cajun Pacific, chef/owner Charles “Chuck” Maddox brings delight to your taste buds with traditional Creole and Cajun menu items that include andouille sausage, gumbo, po-boys, crawfish and barbecued shrimp. The menu changes weekly, so each time you go, it’s a pleasant surprise.
4542 Irving St.; 415-504-6652

Cafe Van Kleef: We may not have bands playing on every street corner or at every bar, as they do in New Orleans, but Cafe Van Kleef is the next best thing. Stop by for a stiff cocktail and performances that include soul, jazz, blues and R&B. Get in the Mardi Gras mood on the first Saturday of the month with Crescent City-style brass music by the Blue Bone Express.
1621 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; 510-763-7711

Queen’s Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe: When you’re really hungry, a po-boy from Queen’s Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe will hit the spot. But don’t stop there — the menu also offers red beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya, fried chicken and beignets. Add some Zapp’s chips and an Abita beer, and you’re ready for Fat Tuesday.
3030 San Bruno Ave.; 415-656-0711

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